Category Archives: age

if i were a kid

if i were a kid
i’d get up right now
and go play
i wouldn’t worry
about a thing
i’d walk right out
and cozy up
with the first toy
that caught my eye
or the first person
who crossed my path
and we’d laugh
for no reason
and dance around
without any music
and shout
and sing
and act silly
and fall down
on purpose
and think it was funny
and keep laughing
until our cheeks hurt

if i were a kid


I Found A 23 Year Old Notebook Today

Going through some old boxes, I found a Pen-Tab Composition Book. I bought while I was a Mental Health Administrator at New Castle State Mental Hospital, in New Castle, Indiana. On the front page was written this:

“There comes a time in every man’s life when he must cast aside his pride and do what he has never done before – buy a composition book, on sale.”

This is dated November 28, 1984. I would have just turned 23 years old. The notebook has only 15 or so pages of writing, but there are a few poems in it. These were written about residents or staff at the hospital. I’m going to share a couple of them here.

the ignorance of youth

i crap more sense in one day
than you spew out your pie hole in a year
and still you walk around smug
and clueless, grinning from ear to ear
because i struggle to find a way
to force you to shut up for once and hear
that i don’t like you or your ideas.
i wish i could make myself perfectly clear
serously! this look on my face?
that’s not me grinning. it’s a snear!
yet here i stand, patting you on the back
acting like i think you’re my peer

your ignorance must truly be bliss
but mine makes me want to just disappear

reflecting on a younger version of me

The Glider

The glider on my Mamaw’s porch seemed old, even when it was brand new. I’m not sure anyone but her noticed when it arrived. She had a love for floral patterns that bordered on fanatical. A gaudy display of fake flowers spread out across every piece of furniture like Poison Oak. So too, the glider was covered. It fit in with the rest of the furniture from it’s very first day.

my mammaw’s porchIt was not a favorite piece for anyone but her, except when it rained. Then it was my favorite piece.

On rainy days, the sound of the drops on tin above my head was rhythmic and soothing. If I laid back and hung my leg off the glider just right, the tip of my big toe would scrape the porch floor, effortlessly creating a motion that seemed in perfect time with the water. Eyes closed, hands behind head, I would lay for as long as my cousins would allow and just drift away.

I spent my childhood summers in West Virginia. Rainy days in the Appalachian heat seemed magical and all too infrequent. They always brought a chill and calmed the frenetic pace of play and work. And they always signaled their arrival in advance.

You could hear the rain marching toward the house through the trees. My cousins would head to the basement, which was always cool, but I would invariably head to the glider. It was my transportation to an imaginary place that changed with each downpour. The rhythm triggered thoughts of what could be, of what could have been. They weren’t so much dreams as hopes. I would swing and hope – and pray.

I was a teenager then. I’m 45 now. That glider is long gone, and so are the innocent hopes and dreams of a child in it’s arms. But the memory of those moments make me smile and wish for a cool rain, a tin roof, a gaudy glider and some free time.


a table of beautiful women

At some point in my life, I decided to not filter positive comments that pop into my head.

I use filters on a great deal of negative things, but not the positive stuff. Not any more. I simply got tired of watching as we spew out expletives at anyone cutting us off in traffic, while at the same time having a hard time even giving a simple thank you head nod to someone who courteously lets us into that same traffic!

Therefore, if “I love you” pops in my head, it’s coming out of my mouth. If a beautiful waitress comes to my table and “wow, you’re beautiful” pops in my head, it’s coming out of my mouth. It doesn’t matter if my wife is with me or not. I’m very comfortable doing it, because it’s real. I’m not faking it.

Yesterday, as I walked by a table of attractive older women, “wow, that’s a very attractive group of women” popped into my head. I stopped before passing their table and said, “wow, you are a very attractive group of women.” A couple of them smiled and thanked me and I walked away.

But as I strolled towards the coffee dispensers, I could hear one woman say, “I don’t like what he just did.” I couldn’t make out every word she said, but I knew that somehow I had offended her. That certainly wasn’t my intention.

I was in a business meeting at the time, but on the way back to my table I stopped again. I said, “so it seems one of you is not happy with being called beautiful.” The woman whose comment I heard spoke up and said, “I don’t want your pity. You don’t need to try and make a bunch of old ladies feel good.” I knew right away that this was going to require some real conversation, so I asked if I could pull up a chair.

I won’t detail the entire conversation, but I let this very attractive woman know that I was serious. She didn’t think I would walk by a table of 30 something women and say the same thing. She obviously doesn’t know me very well and I told her so. I sincerely found them an attractive group of women on many levels and I know she finally understood that I was in not patronizing her. Her image is still in my head. She is indeed attractive.

Here’s the best thing about not filtering the good stuff.

When I let the good stuff out, good stuff comes back. As we sat and talked, it came out that this group of women had been meeting for 18 years. They were writers. I innocently asked them if they had blogs. They did not. Instantly I knew why I was meant to sit down at their table with them. These women, many of them published authors, needed to be on the Internet. Their voices needed to be heard. So, I’m going to help them get their voices on the Internet.

When I finally made it back to my table to finish my meeting, I was filled with energy. The thought of their voices finally make it onto the web thrilled me. With any luck, some of them will soon read this post. With a bit more luck, they will be writing their own posts and this wonderful world wide web will have a few more voices to add to the mix.

All because I don’t filter the positive stuff. Don’t filter the positive stuff.